Failing to outshine the supernova that was Pace Knight football playoff victory over Jefferson, the hoops Knights merely “shook the earth,” rumbling to an 87-42 demolition of the Kings Ridge Tigers.
A relentless Knightsí defense stifled the Tigers, who hung in there as the first quarter concluded 19-13 behind the three-point shooting of Jack Armstrong.
The Knights, however, continued to grind it out on defense, sapping the energy of Kings Ridge in the telling second and third periods as the Knights blitzed the Tigers 53-19, putting the game away.
Seniors Elijah Sheft and Waide Swain set the tone for the Knight defense, matching up physically on Tiger dribblers, disrupting their offense and setting up steals by classmate Elijah Holifield and junior Zack Kaminski. Of course, there was some advantage to have 6í10” Wendell Carter as the last line of defense, either smartly taking charges or swatting shots his team mates scooped up for fast breaks.
The group’s “warrior spirit” could be heard throughout the Kings Ridge gym with communication that was just as relentless as their defense. Good looks at the basket were scarce for the Tigers, who were held to an icy 10- 34 shooting night.
Elijah Sheft scored 15 points and had 5 steals while Elijah Holifield poured in 23 points on 7-14 shooting to go with 2 three-pointers. Holifield also pulled down 5 rebounds, passed for 1 assist and twice stole the ball. . Junior Zach Kaminski shot 5-9 from the field, including a three-pointer for 11 total points along with 2 assists and 4 steals. Kaminski has grown his game- flushing his first varsity dunk- a two hander as well as knifing down the lane for a twisting layup. Waide Swain scored 7 points with 2 assists and a steal.
Sophomore Wendell Carter made his Pace debut, efficiently scoring 20 points on 7-9 shooting from the floor, including three dunks. Carter shot 6-6 from the charity stripe and snatched 10 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. Classmates Barrett Baker and Parker Payne chipped in with 2 points and 3 points apiece. Freshman Caleb Holifield made his varsity debut with 6 points, 2 assists and 1 steal. Junior Jack Dwyer was scoreless in his debut, but played effectively on the boards.
As Thanksgiving approaches, the Knights look forward to the Holiday Hoopsgiving at Holy Innocence Friday and Saturday. Game times and opponents will be announced.